Five for Friday! I'm Back!

Well after being computer free for a week, I am finally back! I don't know why it took me soooo long to figure out that I could just upload my photos to Facebook in a private album and save them to my husband's computer. I guess getting the time to do that was part of the trouble too! If you didn't know already, I spilled water on my computer and lost EVERYTHING! It's driving me crazy! But I finally am back on the blogging scene and linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my Five for Friday!! Woo Hoo!
Click here to check out all the posts!

We typed our first writing assignment this week! I showed the students one time how to get into Microsoft Word, and that was all that they needed! They were totally ready to get started! I love how eager they were to type their papers. Our topic was from Amy Lemons. It was "  Things That Bug Me." This class was known for bullying and not getting along, so I thought a great get to know you activity was to find out what actually pushes their buttons. They loved getting their complaints on paper. Along with the writing they made little bugs! It was funny to see that most of the bugs ended up being bumble bees.

We began using our BUILD groups this week! Luckily I had emailed myself my BUILD notebook file so I had a copy of it at school. I will be telling you all about BUILD math groups as soon as I get a replacement computer. It is always more comfortable working on your own computer rather than someone elses, even my husbands!
I had to do some last minute tweaking so I quickly came up with my BUILD menu. I cannot wait to share how our groups work!
We started our science lessons this week. Cassondra and I are planning on doing STEM/Science with our students each Friday afternoon. We talked about phases of the moon, watched the Brainpop Jr. Moon video, and then we YouTubed the moon landing. The kids LOVED it. Their assignment was to make moon observations each night for a week. We practiced observing by going outside and just observing the front of our school. Not much was happening, but the kids came up with some really good stuff! They had to write a couple sentences and draw a picture of their observation. 
Unfortunately, Indiana has had some rainy, cloudy humid evenings. The kids only saw the moon maybe two times this week! BOO! We had to scrap the whole thing and we will try again another time. 
Our house is coming right along! The basement floors should get poured next week! I am so excited I cannot even contain myself!!!!!
Keep water away from your computers...

Oops...

Holy moly guys! What a week I had last week! Let me start off by saying I am soooooo sorry that none of my pictures are showing up anymore. I didn't realize that they were saved in Picasa(should have been a duh) and I noticed some pics that were uploaded just from my phone. They weren't even ones that I would use on my blogs.. I freaked out a little and deleted everything. When I deleted everything, all my blog pics got deleted too.
Then my next thought is oh, okay. This is only an hour or so of reuploading the pictures. I can handle it! Well..the super talented Mrs. R decided to spill water all over her laptop!!! Now it won't come on and I don't have any pictures (or TPT items) available. I am throwing a little pity party at my house tonight if you are in southern Indiana! haha! It is totally my fault, I'm just frustrated! Hopefully my wonderful, loving, (hopefully reading this), handsome, super handsome, husband will quickly get me a new computer:) Here's wishing! 
I have soooo many cool things to show you guys that we have been working on the past three weeks! I can't wait to get this all straightened out!
My signature is even gone:( Boo-hoo! UPDATE: Signature found! WOO HOO!! It's a start!

Welcome to my Classroom 2014


Welcome to my room! Let's have a close-up:)
My desk: I got rid of my desk last year. I have been teaching for two years, one with a desk and one without. My first year, I had so much clutter on top and my drawers(except one) were all like the junk drawer we all have in the kitchen, you know the one I mean? So when I moved to second grade I got rid of it! Not having a desk has really opened up my room. I have a counter where my computer is and a little table where I keep my birthday items, markers, tape, and finger nail polish( chiggers or chipped nail, I'm prepared!). On my counter is where I have my magazine holders for my daily lessons, my phone, staples, paper clips, and other small assorted school supplies. I also have lotion because dry skin is too itchy to mess with!  Of course,  I also have my fridge and book shelf for my binders on the floor.

  Brownie Points: In my room, I hate hate hate hearing "I'm done, what do I do?" The kids know there is always SOMETHING to do, but they are hoping I tell them to do something other than read. That is exactly what I want to do! I don't want to push books down their throats because reading is a joy, it shouldn't be forced. I have instituted my "Brownie Points" boxes. When they finish early, or have " nothing" to do, they can go to the Brownie points box and pull out something to work on. They are numbered like mailboxes so I can differentiate on extra practice for my kiddos! I LOVE the fact that not everyone will have the same work pages in their brownie points box. Some have task cards for commas in a series, when others have addition cards to work on. The kids turn their finished work in and if they get a 100% they get a sticker on their sticker chart. Once they have a row filled, they get a piece of candy. They whole chart filled gives them their choice of coupon from my coupon drawer!  My Brownie Points sign is free in my TPT store!
Above my Brownie Points, you can see a peek of my word wall! I used sentence strips and a stapler, pretty fancy huh?! My wonderful husband hung them all last summer and I am just planning on leaving them up this year! It worked out pretty well last year. Why reinvent the wheel, right?

My coupons are in my Teachers pay Teachers store if you want to check them out! They are also free if you want to do some searching on my blog:) I honestly don't remember what post I stuck them in!

Behavior: My behavior area is right next to the Promethean board. It is in the front of the room for a constant visual. I have my clip chart, which is just being instituted this year. You can get a clipchart on my fan freebies by liking my {Facebook page}! I also use {Class DoJo}! I love it! I post how students get points, lose points, the consequences, and the rewards for students to see. 
At the bottom, see the birds with numbers? That is our AR point club tracker. Our principal is a big fan of AR so my students move leaves along the vine across the front of the room. I like AR for the comprehension part, but not the only reading for points part, love/hate(more one than the other;) relationship!

Date:  I have the date on the board, usually the correct one, each day. The kids have a hard time seeing the days of the week on our big calendar, so I am using the smaller ones that will be easier for the kids to see. I will just have to switch them out each day. They are on magnets, so that should be easy! I also have a few pictures on my board to make my room more cozy. The one you can see are of some of the girls I teach with. The others are of me and students, and my class picture from the past two years. I was with those kiddos for two years, I am sure going to miss them this year!

Boggle:  I found these cute letters on Teachers Pay Teachers and instead of using them for my word wall, I use them for Boggle! Through the year, we use our spelling words in our boggle letters. Right now there is a secret phrase in the letters! Can you find it? My rule for my second graders is to just use the letters, they do not have to connect. That is tough for even me, so I am not making them do it the correct Boggle way! First one to guess the phrase (use each letter once per word) can have their choice of one product from my store!
My letter holders, the library pockets, are looking a little rough! ha! Time to be replaced!
I hope you have enjoyed a peek inside my classroom! We are going to be very busy this year making our classroom even better! Follow us on Blog Lovin' to keep up with all the new and exciting things going on in second grade!

The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener

Hey guys! I got the opportunity to review {Classroom Friendly's Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener}! I was so excited to receive my sharpener.

The two parts you see are the sharpener(duh) and the part to use to secure it (sort of) to a table or desk.
When I got to school, I couldn't wait to use it. I have missed super sharp pencils, those electric ones just don't quite do it.  To use the sharpener, I checked out a video on their wonderful website!

I tried to figure out how to secure it next. I found out if works best on a flat table or counter, you know the kinds that don't round out at the edge? The shorter, curved side goes in a hole at the bottom of the sharpener. Then you place the black stopper on along with the wing nut.

 The nut tightens so you can use several different types of surface thicknesses. I also found out that you can't tighten it too much or it will go sideways. The sharpener is made to be portable, so this really wasn't a big deal for me. 

They do make a special mounting plate that will keep it secure and in place. I would highly recommend this for classrooms with younger students. My students (second grade) would have trouble turning and holding at the same time. 
To put the pencil in, you have to squeeze the black pegs on the top together. Pull them out away from the sharpener.  Then the pencil goes in, keep them squeezed still!

As the pencil sharpens, the pencil holder keeps going back toward the sharpener. I thought it may go all the way in, but  it does not. It gets real close though. You can tell a difference in how hard the crank is to turn to know if the pencil is sharp or not.
And then... TA-DA!

Pros:
-Super sharp pencil
- portable for taking to students during testing
-QUIET- this sharpener is way quieter than the old crank one and my electric one. 
-You don't have to keep checking and checking to see if it is sharp
Cons:
- Not very stable unless you buy the permanent mount. I'm sure you could use Velcro or a strong glue to fix this also.
- Super sharp pencil- I did one for a student and then he kept pointing it at another student's face. This made me very nervous because it was so super sharp. 
Overall, I loved trying out this sharpener. I got it out during our Rocket Math minute and the kids didn't even realize I was using it! 
The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener is $24.99, and I would not regret paying for it. It is a great asset for the classroom!
 You can order one for your own classroom with a 5% discount by using the code
  9WLKY
This code is good until November 1st. Head to their site and make your sharpener one of the quieter things in your room!

Classroom Friendly Supplies

Vowel Task Cards

Do you use task cards in your classroom? My students LOVED them! They liked them ok last year, but this year, wow! It seemed like they were unstoppable! The first set we have tried was my Vowel Task Cards set.
This set has the option of doing long vowels or short vowels. If you wait long enough, you can use them for both in the same year! It has the word and the picture for younger students who can't read very well yet. 
There are four cards per vowel, so twenty cards in all! It comes with a response sheet for searching for long vowels or short vowels. We did short vowels to review this week. 
I scatter my cards around the floor in a circle. I remind the students to go in that circle so they don't skip one. This is only when we are doing it whole group, of course. If we are doing task cards in small groups, then I tape them up around the room. 

This was a last minute activity, ( I know, first week of school and I am already working last minute...not a good way to start!) so the black and white cards worked perfectly! Head over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to pick up your set for $3.00!

You Oughta Know About...QR Codes

Hey guys! I'm linking up with Mrs. McClain to bring you a post that all 21st century teachers oughta know about...QR Codes!
QR(Quick Response) codes are those weird "tv went out" squares that are showing up all over the place. These codes can be linked to a variety of resources!
www.QRstuff.com
Task Cards: These can be put on task cards for students to check their answers. They could also be used to find the question on the card. It can make working on task cards even more fun. Students already love moving around, adding QR codes will bring technology into the mix! Another great thing about using QR codes with task cards is that you are able to type whatever you want when you use plain text. This gives you a chance to give a short explanation of how to do the problem, not just the answer.
E-Books: QR codes can be linked to YouTube videos, in a safe, ad free way, so students can watch the video and see the book. They will hear a fluent reader and be able to follow along. This is so simple to do too! Using www.QRstuff.com (a free site) and safeshare.tv, you are able to create the student safe YouTube links. 
Websites: Students sometimes have a hard time typing in long URLs, especially on an Ipad. This can give them a short cut to get to the webpage they are looking for. Using QR Stuff again, it is my go to QR maker, you can type in any website for your students to access. 

Groups: Students can find group directions in QR codes. You could even record your voice and put it in a QR code! Scavenger hunts would be a great deal of fun with QR codes too! I also use QR codes to make a Word Work Tic Tac Toe. Students have to write in what they scanned after they do it. This helps them keep track of what there is to do and what has already been done. 
Click here to grab yours today!
 QR Codes are easy to make, spice up the normal routine, and save time in an already jam packed school day. Students love using them. They start pointing out every QR Code they see, everywhere.

QR readers are usually free in the app store. There are several different ones to choose from. My advice here would be to read the reviews and do not pay for one. There are too many free ones to have to shell out some money for them!

Check out my past posts(click below) about QR Codes for more information!



Dollar Steals and Teacher Deals

I am so excited to announce that I am joining forces with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you a new collaborative blog called Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals! With this blog, there will be approximately forty teachers sharing their excellent work in what we are calling a Dollar Steal!

What is a Dollar Steal, you ask?  Each day, one of my bloggy friends will be sharing a post about one of their products.  In their blog post, they will share a link to their product where you can purchase it for only $1.00.  Now here's the catch, you'll have to act fast because their sale will only last for THREE days.  After the three days, you can still grab their fabulous product, but it will be at it's original price.


I would love for you to hop over by clicking the button above and follow our new blog through email or Bloglovin in order to ensure that you catch all of our deals in a timely manner.  We are also giving away a $25 TeachersPayTeachers Gift Certificate.  You can enter by following us!!!

Thank you for joining me on this new and exciting experience.

Back to School TPT Sale!

Guys, it's here!! The TPT sale for back to school is ready to "launch!" 
Be sure to click on the sale button and check out my store! I have a pretty good collection of back to school items, if I do say so myself;)